With 90 minutes to spare prior to the long anticipated Chinese New Year High Tea, Wil and I have crashed onto the sofa for my first sit-down break of an “on-the-go” sort of Sunday!
Up early this morning, the phone rang shortly after 7am and I was treated to a short conversation with my Dad’s "80-something" cousin,who called from the UK to “see how you are doing”. Cousin Ron is so sweet and, although I have never met him, as the only living relative with whom I have contact he holds a very special place in my heart.
After a quick breakfast and brisk walk with Wil, Pastor Nick picked me up at 9am and we headed down to get ready for the All Ages Service at Church.
Today’s Gospel is Matthew 5:13-20 and we had chosen to take from the passage the concept of engaging all of our 5 Senses when we participate in Worship.
Interspersed with Song, Scripture reading (and viewing on YouTube) we first participated in a percussion/harmony time led by Nick, to illustrate Hearing. We then made aluminium foil pie tin holders for votive candles (under my direction) for Sight. Next Steve helped the children make popcorn and circulate it, first unsalted and then salted with coarse sea-salt. 7 year old Malachi emphatically stated that it is “MUCH better with salt” (a fine exegesis of verse 13), illustrating Taste.
Lastly Liz lit incense (Smell) and everyone wrote or drew prayers on squares of white card,(Touch) which, while the final song was sung, several of us assembled as a paper prayer quilt.
The quilt is now hanging in St. Stephen’s House hallway, as a reminder of today’s unusual (but hopefully inspiring!!) Service!
If we say that we want Church to be a place where everyone gathers for Worship and scatters for Mission we need to always be ready to explore ways in which people of all ages are spiritually fed. Sometimes different expressions of worship can challenge our “comfortable pew” image, but surely our Lord was always taking his teachings beyond the confines of the local synagogues and out to the seaside or up to the mountain tops. And He is the best example to follow!